DURING its chequered history, York’s Bonding Warehouse has welcomed colourful characters such as comedians Jo Brand and Mark Thomas.
A decade ago, it was briefly used as a squat by peace activists who opposed the war in Iraq.
Today, after being restored and protected from flood-waters that threatened to destroy it, the building is up for sale as an investment opportunity, with an asking price of £2.4m.
Bought by York-based developer Grantside in 2012, the riverside grade II listed building has been converted into a mixed-use scheme of 11,000 sq ft of office space and four penthouse apartments on the upper two floors.
Grantside managing director Steve Davis said: “We have been on an amazing journey since we secured the Bonding Warehouse site in 2012.
“The building had been in a sorry state of dereliction and vandalism since 2000. Being able to restore this iconic building, which is so much a part of the history of the city, has been a privilege.”
Mr Davis said the building had been brought back to life through painstaking restoration work and the installation of flood defences.
He said the scheme was a sensitive blend of the historic and hi-tech.
The warehouse dates from 1875. It was designed by City Surveyor George Styan, and was intended to encourage seagoing
ships to use York as an inland port.
It was erected on the site of York’s house of correction, where vagrants and beggars were put to work after the Elizabethan Poor Law was passed in 1601.
The building was originally used to store taxable goods including wines and spirits, and was converted for leisure use in the 1970s.
The Bonding Warehouse was owned by the council but leased in the 1970s and 1980s as a restaurant, and then a music and comedy venue in the 1990s. Jo Brand, Mark Thomas, and Jeremy Hardy are among the now well known comedians who played there.
It suffered from severe flooding in November 2000, which left it uninhabitable, and the historic building fell into a state of disrepair.
In 2004 it briefly became a squat, occupied by the York Peace Collective.
Grantside bought the building two years ago.
Office space in the development was fully let earlier this year after Grantside moved its own head office from Holgate Park to the development in July, taking 2,000 sq ft on the ground floor. Global software developer Anaplan has taken the remaining 9,000 sq ft of space.
The company opened new offices in the Bonding Warehouse in August as part of an expansion programme that will create 50 jobs. All of the apartments have been sold or are under offer. The largest fetched £1m when it was sold off plan in May, which is believed to be a record price for a York apartment.
Jonathan Gale of agent Bray Fox Smith, who is marketing the property, said: “It is a very attractive and rare investment prospect with broad appeal to a range of buyers, from local and regional through to national investors.”
Mr Gale said the Bonding Warehouse was a “landmark building and a trophy asset”.
He added: “There is very strong demand for these sorts of opportunities,”